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3 Workers Charged in Death of Elder Care Patient

August 17, 2000

VENTURA COUNTY — Two years after an 86-year-old woman who suffered massive bedsores and other injuries died in a board-and-care home, prosecutors have charged Thousand Oaks operator Grazyna "Grace" Baran and two of her employees with elder abuse.

Ventura County prosecutors said that Dorothy Malven, 86, of Westlake Village deteriorated until she was briefly hospitalized with a urinary tract infection, bedsores, bruising and a massive ulcer.

Malven and her husband, Jack, 88, had moved into the board and care home two months earlier. He later died. Authorities also accuse Baran of failing to immediately notify social service officials, as required by law, of his death.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Audry Rohn said Dorothy Malven's condition was caused by poor nutrition and circulation, dehydration and lack of movement.

"It takes months to develop stage four sores," Rohn said. "This is not the kind of place where they have nurses. These are regular people trying to provide medical care."

Baran, 29, and Stanislawa Wisla, 51, are each charged with one count of felony elder abuse with infliction of great bodily injuries, which carries a maximum sentence of nine years in prison. Bronislawa Zachhrczuk, 51, is charged with one count of felony elder abuse, with a maximum prison sentence of four years. All three are natives of Poland.

Baran operated four elder care homes in Thousand Oaks until June 3, 1998, when the state Department of Social Services revoked her licenses and relocated her clients, after learning of the death of two people in her care.

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